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Since March 2020 the UK Government has been working with the authorities of the UK’s Overseas Territories to ensure that they receive the help they need to manage the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Support provided 

Help has focused primarily on supporting their healthcare systems and economy, ensuring continuity of transport links and access for supplies, and providing security assistance. 

While the Government has not made any specific statements about planning for future waves of the pandemic, should the Overseas Territories be adversely affected, it has made clear that its support is enduring. Financial assistance will continue to be provided on a case by case basis, while additional military support will be provided as needed or requested.

The pandemic 

At the time of writing the World Health Organisation states that Covid-19 infection rates in the Overseas Territories are relatively low. Bermuda was listed as experiencing “community transmission” (the same as the UK).

There have been 147 confirmed deaths from Covid-19 in the British Overseas Territories, 94 of which were in Gibraltar (to 1 June 2021). 


The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office are responsible for arranging and funding vaccines to the Territories, with the intention of delivering enough doses to offer sufficient vaccines to every adult. Deliveries began on 5 January 2021. The UK Government expects the rollout to be completed in a similar timescale to that in the UK.

Whilst the UK Government is responsible for the procurement and delivery of the vaccines, the individual governments of the Territories are responsible for the coordination of their own vaccine programmes. Public Health England has been providing advice on vaccine deployment.

Eight Territories have reported that at least 50 percent of their populations have received at least one vaccine dose. On 17 March, the UK Government said that “Gibraltar became the first nation in the world to complete its entire adult vaccination programme.”

Travel rules 

Due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases globally, and the emergence of new variants of the virus, the UK Government has introduced a number of changes to the requirements for international travel.

All arrivals into the UK, including from the Overseas Territories, must provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test, taken within 72 hours prior to travel. Exempt territories include Ascension Islands, Falkland Islands and Saint Helena.

From May 2021, states and territories are rated as either red, amber or green for Covid-19.  Individuals must follow separate rules, depending from where they have arrived.

Under the Test to Release scheme, an individual may be eligible to end their self-isolation early, assuming a negative test is recieved, by paying for a private Covid-19 test. 

The Library’s Coronavirus: International Travel FAQs provides further information on international travel restrictions during the pandemic. 

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